Share ideas - how do I avoid cheating on Medifast?

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This may sound stupid or pathetic, but I was doing really well with Medifast, and then I started nibbling. That led to more cheating until I am off track and feeling frustrated. I know I am only failing myself - does anyone have any suggestions on how to stay on track? I do great in the mornings - it's the afternoon when I have my uncontrollable urges to eat the forbidden foods. I have kids and a husband, so there's no way to avoid having the problem foods in the house. I really really want to succeed - can anyone share their methods of avoiding giving in to temptation? Thanks for any help offered...

Comments (35)

Have you tried using the sugarfree gum as your snack option? I know keeping my mouth busy is a good way to keep me from snacking...

Comment #1

Hi... Unfortunately, there is no "one" answer. This is something that most of us struggle with everyday. I guess you have to look at the food that is calling your name square in the eye and say "I am stronger than this...I want to lose weight more than this...I want to feel successful and powerful MORE THAN THIS!" and then walk away feeling proud and strong. The next day it will be a little easier. Falling off the wagon unfortunately reinforces the feeling in the back of our mind that if we "crave"it enough we will cave in.

Good luck.


Comment #2

Hey there Princessbunny.....

Well, that "nibbling" you are talking about is definitely a slippery slope..

The question bad do you want it? Losing weight that is...... write out your reasons for it - keep it somewhere that you can see it..

If there is a particular food that you are havig problems with get RID of it! Get it OUT of the house. If it's one or two items - your family probably won't miss it and probably don't need it anyway if it's just junk food..

One way that I think about it is this:.

I have eaten ALL of these foods for MANY years MANY, many, MANY times!!! So what difference does it make if I don't have it today?? It was there yesterday when I ate it - it will be there tomorrow....or the next day, or the next, or whenever. It isn't going away and I haven't deprived myself of it because I've had it ALL is what put me in this position in the first place..

So I try to identify WHY I am wanting to eating, or nibble. Is it boredom? Am I stressed? Am I sad? Am I happy? Am I procrastinating? You can make the decision not to eat it. By DECIDING - very affirmatively - you can take the indecision away. It's done! You've decided not to so now it's time to go do something else - something different - something AWAY from the kitchen......

This really is mostly mental. Pick up the Beck Diet Solution book and start reading through it. It's a great resource and a great way to find out why you might be trying to sabatoge yourself.......

And remember to take it a minute at a time if you need to..... You can DO this!!! Truly! It is not a magic won't take food away. But you can walk away from foods that are not on plan or that are unhealthy for you. And if you fall - that's when you learn!!! So take these opportunities and learn from them.....

You can do this - you are strong - you KNOW what you want and you REALLY want to get rid of this weight.....this is the place to come for support. So hang in there and hang tough.......

Comment #3

By the way Princessbunny - your post WASN't stupid or pathetic because we have ALL been there. Some days it's more of a struggle than others, and some days just breeze by with no issues at all. It's never a stupid thing to post....EVER! :-)..

Comment #4

Have you tried substituting something else for your urges to nibble? Fr instance, if you know you start getting the urge around 3pm, could you save your lean and green, or a part of it, for then? Then maybe get up and go for a walk or take a hot bathanything that feels like just YOU time (which is hard to find and luxurious in my house!) ? The point is to PLAN for the times you know you feel weak and choose another activity which is healthier than nibbling.. Just a thought..


Comment #5

Princessbunny; listen to Laurie, she's THE BEST! Words of wisdom right there!..

Comment #6

There are so many temptations around us. You have to take control of what you put in your mouth. That food will still be there when you reach goal. Listen to what your body says. What are your triggers? If something is tempting really think about it. Is it worth your health?..

Comment #7

Nibbling is definately the beginning of my trouble. I do best if I don't even take an illegal bite of something, or else, it turns into 2 bites, ...... I think the key to the diet is to eat regularly and not to miss any scheduled meal or hunger and cravings begin. Also, drink lots and lots of water to make your stomach believe you are satisfied.

And, like it was mentioned earlier, that was not a stupid question!!!..

Comment #8

As someone need to revisit why you decided to lose the weight in the first place. If you start to cheat it is more due to commitment mentally than dealing with having junk in the house..

If you are 100% committed...nothing..not even fresh warm brownies...will deter you!!!.

Good luck!! you can do it!!..

Comment #9

I really want to thank you all who took the time to respond! This was my first post and I am overwhelmed and uplifted to know people care - even people I've never met. That means a lot and I am going to think of each of you next time I walk PAST that kitchen cabinet. Thank you thank you thank you - today is the day I pick myself up and dust myself off and take back my self esteem. Have a great day!!..

Comment #10


I started down that slippery slope and it took me a very long time to get myself 100% on plan. I've got 4 days under my belt now! Yay me! I learned that staying 100% on plan is a must for me. Suffering through the first few days to get into ketosis was hard but today (day 5) I feel so much better..

Hang in there! You can get through the first few days too and you will feel terrific!! Yay PB!!..

Comment #11

When I got cravings, I ran, not walked to these boards. They are and will always be my life line, even in T&M..

You are doing great and not this is a great question, not a stupid one. Think of all the new people coming to Medifast that join after you. They will want to know this too..

Good Luck and Welcome to the Medifast Family...

Comment #12

I needed this post today! I figured out that my go-to food is chocolate. I am going to get through tomorrow with NO cheats...I promise! I just need to remember what lafinaz said about how I have had it before and it is what got me here in the first place! Great post-not stupid!..

Comment #13

A SLIPPERY SLOPE it is!!! I get mid-afternoon cravings for something sweet, so stocked up on sugar-free candy. Unfortunately, it is still LOADED with calories, so I have to be very conscious of every morsel. I picture myself slipping & sliding down that slope toward pure hell if I regain what I've worked so hard to get rid of. Best of luck to you!..

Comment #14

All the posts here offer great advice. My advice is that I let myself nibble. I take a small part of my lean and green (such as celery wrapped in turkey) and that satisfies my urge to crunch in between my medifast meals. Or I will have sugar free candies or mints or a cup of coffee. Honestly I have something in my mouth just about every hour and a half! It works for me but you have to figure out what works best for you and just KEEP AT IT! Like someone else said somewhere on one of these boards...just take it two hours at a time!.

Can't figure out my stats are:.

Week 1: -8.7lbs.

Week 2: -3 lbs.

Week 3: -3.5lbs.

Still working on week 4!..

Comment #15

Princess - welcome! This is the place we've all found ourselves....not one of us is here because we ate too much lettuce! <grin>.

Definitely try to figure out the root cause behind particular cravings, and writing yourself a list of reasons for why you want to lose is nice to refer to. I found that either sugar free gum or green tea helped. And I make the tea hot so it takes me a while to sip..

Take a look at your meal schedule - maybe space out your meals slightly longer in the morning so you can have them closer in the late afternoon..

Lastly, why not get rid of some of the bad foods? Who says the kids and hubby should not be learning to eat healthy too?? Just a thought, here, but even if it's healthy fruit for the kids that's maybe a temptation for you - it is for me, for sure.

Good luck and keep coming to the boards, it's a great way to keep your mind off of food!..

Comment #16

One thing I did was join a team- I do NOT want to have to tell my teammates that I went off plan...

Comment #17

If I feel a little "weak" - I come to the boards and read the posts and blogs, and look at the success pics. If I'm not close to home with my computer, I grab a bottle of water. If I am invited to an event that I think might alter my plan, I don't go, or make plans ahead of time so that I am full before even walking through the door. I always have packets and bars in my purse. I won't take that first bite of off plan food because I know "me" and that first bite could be the first step off of a cliff. It's much easier for me to say no to that first bite, than to try to justify "just one bite" or make an excuse of how well I am doing so far.

I'm worth it and so are you! You can do this!!!! PM me if I can help you in any way!..

Comment #18

Here's my ideas.

#1 do something else - go outside, read theses boards, go shop, run errands - get away from the chance to cheat badly.

#2 rearrange your medifast meal schedule. Eat the things you find most filling around that time instead..

#3 split lean and green or consider going to the 4 and 2 plan.

#4 try the sugar free jello as a snack - it helps.

#5 this is my "cheat" - keep some lean cold cuts in the fridge, sliced thin. Have a few small slices if needed. I work 12 hour shifts and am often up for 20 hours on the days I work (3x a week). Spacing out medifast meals doesn't always cut it on those days - plus my job isn't sedentary and I also work out. A little bit of extra protein goes a long way to help!.

Hope this helps.


Comment #19

Princessbunny.. you're welcome to come on over to the clubhouse forum and join in the Beck group.. you wouldn't even have to participate, but even if all you do is read along, you might find some helpful hints of how to change your thinking so you don't want to nibble!.


Comment #20

How did you get into my head ? heheheh.

Thank you all for the great ideas/support - I think Diane is right - you have to look at it right in the face and say no.....I am going to try that.....

Thanks Diane1!!!!..

Comment #21

I've been giving this a lot of thought, and I really think a large part of my problem is that I am too used to the American Way of Instant Gratification. Heck, I ate right all darn morning and haven't lost 6 pounds by two in the afternoon, so I should just eat what I crave and make myself happy NOW!! lol, it's so sad, but I think there is the truth. I have to learn that weight loss doesn't come instantly, it's not automatic just because I bought the Medifast foods, and it's not going to happen at all if I don't apply the philosophy of eating fewer calories and burning more calories than I take in. All the good intentions in the world are not enough to make it happen, I am just going to have to exercise discipline and self control. I really appreciate all of the great feedback I've gotten from people on this board. I'm going to continue to read them and use them as a motivational tool.

Have a great day!!..

Comment #22

I'm really glad I stumbled onto this post!! Nibbling and tasing has been a HUGE thing for me for the past couple of days. And lik everone has said, it leads to nothing but trouble. It starts of with one bite then two and before you know it you allow yourself to go off plan and eat 2 bowls of cereal (True story, happened last night!). but not nubbling is really hard!! Becasue I'm the type of cookthat I have to taste everything to make sure I have a good balance of spices. so right now I'm really working hard to control my urge to nibble and no, it's not easy, it's a daily struggle!..

Comment #23

I notice I have the biggest problem when I don't drink my water. I have been a food addict since I was a child so have been on thousands of diets. Obviously I am still battling the problem but I am noticing that water helps me head off cheating. I use a large straw and gulp it. It helps me feel good and I don't feel much like eating while drinking large quantities. On mornings when I don't get the water started early I notice more temptation to cheat.

Good luck to you. It seems like we just have to find the strategies that work for us...

Comment #24

(Hi, Laurie, old friend!).

I had my temptations creep up around 3-4 in the afternoon as well. I found that a nice cup of hot tea did the trick for me. Hot beverages really killed my appetite until the next meal time. I also "backloaded" my day, so that I was eating every 2 hours from about 3:00 on. Like you, I was able to sail through the morning with no problems (probably the coffee...LOL)...

Comment #25

I frequently have to make dinners for my family, and many times like on Friday nights I have to sit around and watch my husband and daughter devour popcorn on movie night! At first it was hard, and there were even a few bites, licks and tastes! I just stepped back from the situation and took a long hard look at myself. I decided that being thin was way more important to me than this nutritionally void food that would give me a few moments of pleasure, but then a lot of grief..

Now, when I must prepare dinner I make sure I have a Medifast meal before, and a nice tall glass of water to ensure my stomach is nice and full. I use my husband or daughter as a food taster for me when I am preparing dishes, and no matter what, there are no more nibbles, bites, licks or tastes. Being thin will taste better than any food you can ever eat. I know it!..

Comment #26

I find it helpful to make dinner in the morning and prepare my daughter's snacks right after I have had my first meal. I was never a big morning eater to begin with, plus most of it just doesn't seem appealing that early. I also told my family that I will set the table and do dishes but they NEED to clear the table, put away leftovers and scrape every plate. I know I am week for just eating that last bite or licking the spoon at the end. I might feign that weakness for the rest of my life!..

Comment #27

Hey, I just fell off the wagon last night, woke up this am felt sick about what I did. Then I shook it off, took accountability and said I will not let one bad day make me give up. Look at what triggered it and recognize it. The next time you go to nibble remember how you feel now and what your "nibble" led to. Dont beat yourself up most dieters give in because of one bad day. Lets not be that way...Ok? If I could do it you could do itI am the queen of giving up..but I wont this time...

Comment #28

I'm definitely not an expert, since every diet before Medifast I tried ended up getting sabotaged by cheating, but here are my ideas:.

1. Are you eating a snack? Medifast does allow one snack a day. You might order some soy crisps or eat some SF jello. For those times you just want to chew something, Medifast lets you have up to 3 celery stalks (I haven't tried that one because I HATE celery, but since I am trying to retrain my eating habits, maybe I need to reevaluate the celery relationship). Or you could try the gum and mints like other people suggested..

2. I know for me a lot of that midafternoon eating is just a habit. When I am teaching, I have a habit of eating as soon as I get home for work. And at lunch, it is so easy to go down to the vending machine and grab and candy bar...I am lucky that I am starting this plan during summer while I am working a job that has far fewer temptations and snacking opportunities. But if this is habit eating for you, replace it with a new habit. If you can, I think going for a walk would be a great new habit to develop.

3. Wait it out. If it is an emotional eating craving and not physical hunger then it may go away after 10 or 20 minutes if you distract yourself..

4. Make sure you are spacing your Medifast meals properly, and alter the spacing of them a little if you need to. Maybe you just need to make sure you schedule one of your meals during that nibbling time..

5. If you can't get the junk food out of the house, maybe you CAN get them to store it somewhere else. Like maybe pick one cabinet to put all their tempting forbidden food in and then just make a pact with yourself that you won't open that cabinet no matter what..

6. I definitely agree that going online for a few minutes REALLY helps. I wanted to cheat last night, and instead I wrote in my blog, read some discussion board threads, and read some other people's blogs. Eventually the urge went away. For me, I think the urge to eat is because I use the food to cover up my emotions and now that the emotions are not covered up, it is a little scary..

There are some really good books out there that help with this. I am not familiar with the Beck book, but I really love Life is Hard, Food is Easy by Linda Spangle. And if you don't have one, get a health coach..

Like I said, I'm definitely not an expert, but I hope this helps a little...

Comment #29

It works wonders to do something that is incompatible with eating. For example, if you are looking at that box of cookies or Lucky Charms, or whatever, and you find yourself tempted, immediately go out for a walk, jump in the shower, brush your teeth, or something else where it is pretty much impossible to eat. Obviously, you can't always use this tactic, but it works well in an emergency! You can also keep a journal in your kitchen and when you are tempted to eat off-plan, commit to writing for three minutes in your journal first. You will probably not want to eat after that. If you do, go jump in the shower!.

Hope this helps!..

Comment #30

All are good tips.

For me when I am craving and have to have something. I have cut up green peppers and/or cucumbers. If I HAVE to have something to check I grab a piece of those.

If I don't use them I throw them in my salad the next day..

Another thing I started doing. If I am craving _____ I tell myself that food will be there later when I am at goal.

It isn't like that ____ is going to go away. Not like they will stop making it.

Thinking this way helps me not feel deprived...

Comment #31

I too have been a sneaker/cheater (ah snacker) and get that after work craving. The hardest though is Saturday night at the movies. Hubby and I tend to go to movies as our weekend date night. I love the popcorn. Not just the expensive small size but the cheap-bucket-with-25 cent-refills-and-put-your-own-butter-and-salt-on-it. I tried real hard to eat a small one.

What I do now is drink the largest diet soda that they have with a refill. Now I know that there was more than the Medifast allowance of caffiene and soda there but I actually got exercise running to the bathroom (the movie isn't usually that good!) and I eventually flushed the craving away!! So, do what you have to do to resist, even if it means downing 85 ounces of diet Pepsi. Seriously, it takes constant vigilence...

Comment #32

I was struggling for a while and I have to say, it sometimes feels like I have been trying and failing at diets forever..

The things that help are:buying the Medifast meals I really like and having them on hand (chocolate shakes are big for me)doing the Beck book in a study group so I don't stop (thank you star!)having bouillon when it's really bad, or going for a walkdrinking all my water!!carrying a card with me with all the major reasons why I'm doing this, and having reminders set so I READ the card several times a day.joining a team and not wanting to let them down.

If you keep at it, you will find your reasons, and whatever they are, since they are yours they will work best for you. You can figure it out, and you can do it!!..

Comment #33

Chewing the sugar free gum as a snack sounds like it would work..

Comment #34

I've had this problem too, only it is with having too many snacks (i.e. sugar free gum, 40 calorie fudgesicles) best suggestion is that it's hard no but the outcome will outweigh the urge to "cheat"...

Comment #35

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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